Our imperfect nature as human beings is on full display in modern American culture. From appalling television programming like Jersey Shore to the tawdry tabloids in every supermarket around the country, we seem to be glorifying the worst aspects of moral bankruptcy.
Yet it’s not just the mass media that gives brokenness and moral degenerates a free pass. Our schools teach kids “tolerance” instead of right from wrong. We’re encouraged to look the other way and let people do “whatever works” without judging them. It’s added up to a big mess – rising divorce rates, increasing numbers of out-of-wedlock births, six million Americans in jail, and an estimated 40 percent of the population using some kind of recreational drug.
Why haven’t we just morally imploded? What’s keeping things from absolutely falling apart? And when will things really collapse?
Judeo-Christian traditions remain in the culture
One thing that seems to keep America from being completely morally lost is the lingering strength of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Though a March 2012 Gallup survey estimates that only 21 percent of Americans are regular church goers, the ideal of being a church-going person is such that 68 percent of Americans self-identify as “church people” … an ideal they cling to even if their daily lives don’t exactly reflect God’s teachings.
The Judeo-Christian tenets of respect for the sanctity of life, the golden rule, and codes for appropriate living are anchors in the culture. Yes, secular forces are trying hard to pull up those anchors. But many people still regard Christian teachings as an ideal they should strive for, and this acknowledgment of a “better way” to live keeps full hedonistic ideals from reigning with impunity.
The remnant holds on
Another factor keeping things in America from completely falling apart is the remnant of strong believers. Politicians and mass media culture may mock “Bible Belt” types or try to dismiss most of America as “flyover territory,” but this conservative, Christian part of the country is shouldering the burden of keeping things moving.
It’s the remnant who work hard and pay the taxes that support the welfare classes. It’s the honest souls who do their best to give others a fair shake that halts rampant corruption in schools, police stations, and city halls. It’s those who volunteer countless hours and dollars for their churches and communities that keep these systems running where shiftless layabouts would just let things rot.
Is it an easy path? Hardly! The remnant could also be described as an overworked, overstressed bunch of people relying on God to carry them through according to His plan … because the world’s plan seems to be to use these people up and discard them when they’re no longer useful. Yet despite scorn, persecution, and barriers constantly put in the way of doing the right thing, the remnant of believers and hard workers is hanging in there.
Retreat will mean collapse
One reason that the remnant matters so much is that retreat will mean collapse. When the good people of this world give up, the show’s over.
In many communities, worthy programs and social care are spearheaded by private volunteers giving their all and working full time. If these volunteers were to quit, no one would take their place. Government programs would take over, or the services would simply cease to exist.
There would be no one opposing dumb school board policies. No one watching the city council to ensure they’re not overspending. No one working to help out neighbors who just never seem to get it together, filling the church kitchen, or leading the community trash pick up. No one speaking up for the right, honest, and decent thing to do … no one keeping the Jersey Shore ideals from taking over.
It’s a hard, uphill battle fighting back against the rot in our country and our culture. Yet to give up is to let the other side win. It may be what our broken culture deserves, but who wants to be there when it happens?
©2012 Off the Grid News